Eighth seed and former world number one Karolina Pliskova reached the last eight at the US Open for the third consecutive year, with the Czech overcoming 18th seed Ashleigh Barty in straight sets on the seventh day in action in New York.
Pliskova’s sole Grand Slam final came at this tournament two years ago, and she came into this tournament last year as the world number one, though a below-par 12 months have seen her slip down the top ten. However, the Czech had looked good in her first three matches at Flushing Meadows, and proved too good again today.
Barty has had a meteoric rise up the rankings since the beginning of the 2017 season, and was looking to reach her first Grand Slam singles quarterfinal today. The Australian certainly had her chances, though crucially failed to take any of the eight break points presented to her; meanwhile, Pliskova only created two break points, but won both of them.
Though it was by no means easy, it was Pliskova who fought her way into the last eight without being broken today, prevailing 6-4, 6-4 in an hour and 24 minutes on Court Louis Armstrong.
Pliskova remains firm on serve to reach third consecutive quarterfinal
It was the ideal start for the eighth seed, who broke the Australian in the very opening game of the contest and then consolidated for a 2-0 lead. Barty, who was in the second week of a slam for the first time, managed to get on the board straight after, though for a while failed to threaten the Czech who was serving imperiously. Pliskova, however, did face a little danger as she faced three break points when serving at 4-3, though saved all of them and held for 5-3. Barty forced the former finalist to serve it out, though there was no trouble for Pliskova this time as she claimed the opener.
Barty needed a response, and it seemed she was getting it as she held two break points early on in set two. However, Pliskova saved both, and then proceeded to break the Australian for a second time before saving a further three break points to consolidate for a 3-1 lead. The former world number was unable to create anymore opportunities on the 18th seed’s serve to extend her lead, though this proved to be no issue, becoming more solid on her own serve and remaining in front. She faced a little pressure when serving for the match, with Barty holding her at 30-30, though she claimed the next two points to reach the last eight.